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The first season cast.

"...I joined a team of criminal experts who wage a war against a new breed of criminal hiding on the deep web. Infiltrating our daily lives in ways we never imagined. Faceless, nameless, lurking inside our devices. Just a keystroke away. [whispering] It can happen to you."note 
—Excerpt from Dr. Avery Ryan's Opening Narration

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"This technology may have made life easier, but it sure hasn't made life safer."
Simon Sifter, summing up the series' viewpoint

Premiering in 2015, CSI: Cyber is the fourth series in the CSI Verse.

The show stars Patricia Arquette as Dr. Avery Ryan, a character introduced in a Poorly Disguised Pilot episode on CSI titled "Kitty". She heads an elite group of FBI Agents and Hollywood Hackers in the FBI Cybercrime Division. They investigate nasty "cybercrimes" committed through the dark net and deep web, along with other dangerous misuses of online technology. Her teammates include Elijah Mundo (James Van Der Beek), a badass ex-Marine and divorced father; Simon Sifter (Peter MacNicol), Avery's boss and an experienced agent who helps the heroes deal with the FBI bureaucracy; Daniel Krumitz (Charley Koontz), a wisecracking, laid-back Playful Hacker; Brody Nelson (Shad Moss), a former cracker who was caught by Krumitz and is the group's latest recruit; and Raven Ramirez (Hayley Kiyoko), another ex-cracker who's been on the team a while.

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In the second season, Peter MacNicol left (explained In-Universe by Sifter being promoted) and Ted Danson's D.B. Russell from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation joined the main cast after the latter series' finale.

The show has a different emphasis than the other CSI series; instead of being cops or scientists who solve crimes in one city, the protagonists work for the FBI and travel all over the country.

CBS canceled the series on May 12, 2016, effectively ending the CSI franchise.

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Tropes:

  • Action Hero: Elijah is the group's resident one. If someone has to chase down a suspect or hang outside a runaway subway train in an attempt to remove the cyberware that might cause it to crash, it'll be him.
  • Adult Fear: The show often deals in this, as several of its villains definitely Would Hurt a Child. For example, "CMND:\Crash" has a mother separated from her daughter, who's one of the passengers trapped on a runaway subway train. Elijah rescues the girl, along with everyone else, and reunites her with her mother. Also see Infant Immortality, Invasion of the Baby Snatchers and Roaring Rampage of Revenge below.
  • Alliterative Name: Simon Sifter and Raven Ramirez.
  • Always Someone Better: Although Brody is an accomplished hacker and cyber-criminal, Krumitz and Raven are constantly deflating his ego by intimating that he wasn't that hard to catch. For example, he never made the unit's most wanted list.
  • Antagonist Title: "L0M1S".
  • Artifact Title: While taking place in the same universe as the other CSI series, Cyber does not involve an actual CSI department.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • L0M1S escapes real punishment due to being a 16-year-old girl and anti-hacking laws being lenient on minors. However, this overlooks the fact that a death that occurs in the process of committing a felony, even accidentally by an accomplice, usually results in a felony murder charge. She most likely should have stood trial on that charge and would have been charged and tried as an adult for being the ringleader of the conspiracy.
    • Krumitz's sister is convicted for shooting their parents' killer when the prosecutor springs a surprise piece of evidence during Krumitz's character testimony. First, the prosecution isn't allowed to spring surprise evidence on the defense; not only would it be suppressed at trial, it would be grounds for sanction for the prosecutor. Second, even granting that Krumitz is an expert witness, he couldn't testify as to the veracity of the evidence since he wasn't involved with collecting it. Third, the defense objects to all of the above and the judge overrules the objection. At the very least, there would be motions and an evidentiary hearing outside the hearing of the jury. All of this should add up to reversal on appeal and a new trial at the very least.
  • As You Know: The team are constantly explaining things to each other that computer experts and professional investigators of cyber-crime should already be well aware of.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "Fit-and-run". The team does manage to arrest the two criminals, but they have already achieved their goal of finding a replacement kidney for a dying woman and successfully transplanting it. Also justified, as one of the criminals was a retired surgeon and the pair deliberately targeted victims with the correct blood type and good physical health.
  • Battle Couple: A montage at the end of "Why-Fi" shows that Brody and Raven have become an item.
  • Benevolent Boss: Simon helps out the team any way he can.
  • Best Served Cold: Francine Krumitz gets revenge for murders that happened years ago in "Why-Fi".
  • Big Bad Friend: In "Fire Code", Brody correctly suspects that JU5TU5 is someone he knew in his cracker days—especially since JU5TU5 has modified and expanded on his code.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: In "Selfie 2.0", Barry Tipton is so concerned about this that he's started a company called No Persona to sell masks of his own face to help people avoid being identified by surveillance cameras. The episode's murderer takes advantage of this. Big Brother Is Your Friend is the underlying ethic of the show. Any character who talks about privacy rights or uses encryption is by default a villain.
  • Blackmail:
    • JU5TU5, the villain of "Fire Code", figures out that a certain model of printer has a defect that can be used to send code that will cause the device to burst into flames. He distributes this code on the dark net, lets two hackers use it to start fires, makes sure they're caught, then demands $10 million from the printer's manufacturer or he'll post the code on the legitimate internet.
      • The villain of "Why-Fi" uses a similar scheme, hacking into a home security company's alarms with the intent of forcing the company to give him hush money so he won't go public with the products' flaws.
    • L0M1S sends blackmail messages to those whose phones the hacker scraped incriminating or embarrassing data off of. However, L0M1S starts releasing the data whether they pay or not For the Evulz.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • "URL, Interrupted" both plays this trope straight (FriendAgenda is definitely not Facebook) and lampshades it (Raven admits that ToggleFly is "like Twitter").
    • Zogo in "Killer En Route" is clearly intended to be Uber.
    • In "Selfie 2.0", the Barry Tipton masks are clearly intended to be the URME masks (designed to fool facial recognition software).
    • The talking Marlie doll in "Why-Fi" is based on Hello Barbie.
    • They even do this non-branded products. "Red Crone" is clearly intended to be this to The Slender Man Mythos.
    • "The Lookback Machine" for the Wayback Machine (used a number of times).
  • The Blank: In "Click Your Poison", the bad guy is laundering money by playing against himself in an online poker site. This is represented on-screen by the identical faceless figures sitting around a poker table.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: In "Legacy", a 13 year old hacker is shot and falls into a swimming pool. Red is shown ballooning out from around him as he sinks into the water.
  • Brand X: In a more generic way than the multiple Bland-Name Product examples, they will always say "X is trending on social media". As opposed to actually naming the social media, as someone would in real life.
  • Bounty Hunter: The villains of "Bit By Bit" are two ex-military brothers who have gone into business as bounty hunters. As the Cyber team (and their client) soon learn, they're greedy, brutal and untrustworthy.
  • Boxed Crook: Avery wants to reform Brody, but warns him that if he ever goes back to crime, he's getting five years in federal prison. To make sure he complies, Avery disrupts his relationship with an old girlfriend from his hacker days. When Brody complains about this to Raven, she tells him that Avery gives her the same treatment.
  • Bully Hunter: In "URL, Interrupted", Zoey Tan goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against whoever created the site called "Kill Yourself, Zoey Tan".
  • Captain Obvious: Throughout the series, characters unnecessarily explain the plot for the audience's benefit. Especially notable in "URL, Interrupted", when Avery repeatedly restates what someone else has just said. For example:
    Zoey (on video): I know who started the "Kill Yourself, Zoey Tan" Web site. You have 24 hours to confess... or you'll be sorry.
    Avery: That was a threat. She's a a vigilante hunting her cyberbully.
  • Car Cushion: In "Ghost in the Machine", a fleeing suspect leaps off a balcony, crashes through a carport roof and smashes into the roof of a car.
  • Car Fu: In "Fit-and-Run", the kidnapper knocks joggers down with his car before abducting them.
  • Chekhov's Gift: At the start of "CMND:\Crash", Elijah shows up wearing a bracelet made for him by his daughter. Later in the episode, he uses the bracelet to give him the extra reach he needs to yank out the control board that is causing the train to crash.
  • Cool Old Guy: D.B. Russell, whose enthusiasm for his job brings out Avery's fun-loving side.
  • Complexity Addiction: The show tends to suffer from this, like most shows of the CSI franchise. In particular for this show however, the necessity of a "Cyber" element for the crimes can lead to this—often the criminals could just as well do their business using conventional means, and their insistence on performing some sort of cyber crime as part of their schemes leads to this trope and their downfall.
    • The villain of "Ghost in the Machine" is a criminal who's apparently not allowed to carry a gun. His Evil Plan to beat the system is to recruit teenagers who play First Person Shooters so that they'll be willing to deliver guns to where he needs them to be.
    • The villain of "404: Plane Not Found" goes through ridiculous lengths to have a passenger jet vanish from air control's eye, and jam all transmissions on board, while she's posing as a passenger, planning to kill one of the passengers. Thing is her target is unknown to her, but she knows the identity of the Marshall providing her target security. Now, her entire reason for doing the hack to keep the plane silent and missing is so she can find out who her witness is. Which she tries to do by cozying up to the Marshall... but she could just do that during the normal flight. Her attempts to temper with the plane are the only thing that get her identified. Had she not hacked the plane, she'd have done her job fine (say by following whoever the Marshall is following upon arriving at the airport).
  • Creator Provincialism:
    • None of the criminals the unit pursues are ever based outside the United States, nor do any use servers or services outside the U.S. to facilitate their crimes or make it harder for law enforcement to gather evidence.
    • Not creator related per se, but a lot of the crimes take place in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia (The show is filmed in Los Angeles but the team is supposed to be based out of the FBI HQ in Quantico, Virginia). It's nice of the nations' hackers to congregate near to the FBI's Cyber division.
  • Creepy Doll: Invoked in "Why-Fi". The villain hacks a Hello Barbie-like doll so he can manipulate the girl who owns it into letting his henchman in her house.
  • Crime Time Soap: Fresh off its first season, quite a bit of the show's drama was personal. This didn't really change much in the second season, which included, among other things, a plotline involving Brody Nelson suing the FBI in relation to the case that led to him becoming a part of the team in the first place.
  • Cut the Juice: Used in "Crowd Sourced" and "Python". In "Crowd Sourced", a car starter is used to drain the battery of the tablet controlling the bomb, while in "Python" Avery rips out the power cable of Python's host server while Python tries to delete the data.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: At least two team members (Avery and Krumitz) have them. See My Greatest Failure and the spoiler text in You Killed My Father for more details. Also, regarding Avery: She lost a young daughter and afterwards the emotional strain of it led to her divorcing her husband. Up until the finale of the first season, nobody on her team even knew she had a husband; only Sifter knew.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Raven is one.
  • Dead Man Switch: The Mad Bomber in "Crowd Sourced" puts one in the code to his deadly website that prevents the team from just shutting it down.
  • Death by Falling Over: In "L0M1S", the bystander the hackers were trying to keep away from the recharging station gets in a struggle with one of the hackers, falls and hits her head on a bathroom stall. She is knocked unconscious and the hackers leave her, expecting someone to find her. No one does and she dies.
  • Deus ex Machina: The ending of "Python's Revenge." Python manages to escape again... but Grace is saved, and Avery is nevertheless ready to go to sleep with a sense of closure. However, in the last few seconds of the episode, he suddenly breaks into her house for a Mexican Standoff — which conveniently lets her give him a Karmic Death just before the end credits.
  • Dictionary Opening: Every episode (there may have been exceptions) opened with a hacking term significant to the episode and its definition.
  • Domestic Abuser: The villain of "The Evil Twin". He beats his girlfriend, pursues her when she tries to get away from him, and finally kills her during an argument.
  • Down L.A. Drain: In "Gone in 6 Seconds", the FBI catch the hacker responsible for the Murder by Remote Control Vehicle in the Los Angeles river channels. This was the spot of the car crash that cost him the use of his legs, so that is why he chose it for his ultimate revenge.
  • Driven to Suicide: In "Click Your Poison", lung cancer sufferer Paul Cummings becomes an unwitting pawn in the villain's scheme to sell deadly fake medications because he thinks the drugs are real; he's not in it for the money, he just wants to save himself and other people. When Avery and Elijah tell him the truth, he has a My God, What Have I Done? moment, then goes into the bathroom and slashes his wrist. We're never told if he survives or not.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Elijah uses a variation in "The Evil Twin": "We can do this the hard way or you can come quietly".
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Brody makes it pretty obvious he's checking out Raven when she comes into the FBI in a slinky dress in "Killer En Route".
  • Emotional Bruiser: While Simon doesn't come across as a tough guy in the present, he says that "I spent the bulk of my career fighting street gangs, cleaning up after drive-bys, drug deals, and bloody little wars", and believes that some people (such as Tobin) are "just plain evil" and therefore can't be reformed. Despite all that, he never became cynical or jaded; one of his colleagues says that he was "always sentimental", and he describes himself as "optimistic" enough to hope that a missing woman will turn up alive (she's dead).
  • Enhance Button: The team uses one in "Selfie 2.0".
  • Establishing Character Moment: He's been in other CSI shows before but Russell is introduced having fun racing cockroaches with Avery...before his gets loose and runs away. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Evil Cripple: 'Smokescreen' in "Gone in 6 Seconds". A hacker who lost the use of his legs in a car crash, he now commits Murder by Remote Control Vehicle.
  • Evil Is Petty: It seems to be a major theme with all of the criminals in this series. One especially noteworthy instance being where a guy ruined a girls life, got her fired, swatted her, emptied her bank accounts and framed her for murder all because she didn't want to talk with him.
  • Faking the Dead: The team discovers a hacker is breaking into the federal death certificate database and making it appear as if people are deceased. It first happens to Avery's ex-husband, who's arrested at an airport trying to get into the country. Meanwhile, despite the fact they're standing in a courtroom, two witnesses to a drug lord are reported dead so the judge is unable to hear their testimony and has to let the drug lord go... and he ends up murdering the two for real later on.
  • Fat Slob: Krumitz is overweight, dresses very casually, and ignores the rule against eating in the team's work area. He also occasionally annoys Brody with his habit of audibly sucking on lollipops.
  • Finger in the Mail: In "Python's Revenge", Avery gets sent a severed human head.
  • First-Person Shooter: The villain of "Ghost in the Machine" uses the chat function of these games to contact troubled teens and convince them to deliver disguised guns for him.
    • A witness from the Pilot is also a massive fan of an FPS game and gives extra intel to Elijah in exchange for tips to get past a level. He's playing it when he receives the ransom video.
  • For the Evulz: L0M1S' motive for wreaking havoc and ruining the personal lives of total strangers? "Because I wanted to. I was bored. I did it because I could."
  • Forced Out of the Closet: In "L0M1S", a lesbian senator who'd been hiding her sexuality is unwillingly outed.
  • Frame-Up: In "The Evil Twin", the heroes gradually realize that the victim's abusive boyfriend, who ultimately killed her, has framed the man he (wrongly) thought had stolen his girlfriend from him for the crime.
  • From Dress to Dressing: In "Red Crone", a boy who cut his hand to offer blood to to the Red Crone as part of the treasure hunt uses the bottom of his shirt to bind up his hand.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Krumitz regularly wears them, including one that reads "Tesla Rules, Edison Drools".
  • Golf Clubbing: The Victim of the Week in "Why-Fi" is killed when an intruder snatches a golf club off him and beats him to death. Because he was using a game system to improve his swing at the time, the murder is caught on a motion-capture video.
  • Greeting Gesture Confusion:
    • A variation in "The Evil Twin" when Krumitz and Brody make a breakthrough and try to congratulate each other. Krumitz goes for a high five, Brody goes for a fist bump, and they decide to compromise. Averted in "Selfie 2.0" as they exchange side-fives thrice, and then doing a groove upon celebrating running down all the names of the abducted women.
    • In "Ghost in the Machine", Brody and Sifter finally end up just briefly embracing after a series of confused congratulatory gestures. Contrasting with this is Krumitz's easy high-five with Brody moments earlier.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: The villains in "Kidnapping 2.0" after the team finds out their team and shuts down the Nanny Cam's central servers, thereby putting them out of work. The ransom video was sent over Xbox Live which, as part of anti-paedophilia safety precautions, makes it possible for the team to track their IP address.
  • Hollywood Hacking: And how. Feats of computer programming and network investigation that should take days, weeks, even months are routinely shown being accomplished in seconds. A particularly egregious one is when Krumitz finds a security hole in commercial product software while standing in front of their server.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Krumitz. White? Check! Glasses? Check! Fat? Check! Sort of lacking on social graces? Check! Yup, he's a computer nerd.
  • How We Got Here: "The Evil Twin" starts with a scene from near the end of the episode, then uses Flashbacks to go up to the present.
  • Hypochondria: Avery suspects Simon of being a hypochondriac in "Click Your Poison". Simon denies it, claiming that it's his wife and son who uses the medications that he obsesses about.
  • Imagine Spot: "The Evil Twin" has a sequence where Brody, Krumitz and Raven discuss their ideas about how the villain remotely accessed someone else's computer. As they theorize, we see them acting out the schemes they're describing.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Elijah's reaction to the news that his father is dying of cancer and has refused treatment in "Why-Fi".
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in "Crowd Sourced", where a child is blown up in the first few minutes.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
  • In-Series Nickname: Brody calls Krumitz "Krummy"...
  • Insistent Terminology: Criminal hackers are "Black Hats" and law-enforcement/security hackers are "White Hats". The subject of the investigation is the "target". Inverted in that the series studiously avoids using the FBI term "UnSub" for "Unknown Subject", most likely because that's the signature of Criminal Minds.
    • The show will often have a character declare that what is happening isn't just X (where X is a crime like extortion; stalking; airplane hijacking, etc... ) but Cyber-X. This works when this leads to something thats actually a term like cyberbullying or cyberstalking. But the show will also go for "Cyber-Hijacking" and other more made up terms.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: "Kidnapping 2.0" is about a gang who kidnap American babies to sell them to foreign couples who want "instant families" but can't or won't adopt. The "cyber" angle is that the kidnappers hack their victims' baby monitors.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Crowd Sourced", Tobin and Avery throw the phrase "Can't I even get a smile?" at each other while they're negotiating.
  • It's Personal:
    • Krumitz tends to get very very involved in pursuing the Black Hats he's investigating. He states that he made catching Brody a high personal priority and was willing to break the law and invalidate the case just to catch L0M1S. Basically, once Krumitz decides to take you down, he holds nothing back until you're caught.
    • When Avery gets inside the head of the Big Bad from "Python", he tells her that she's made things personal when they didn't have to be. The episode ends with him retaliating by personally infiltrating Cyber's headquarters in disguise.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: In "Ghost in the Machine", Viper75 pulls the gun he had stashed, points it at Avery and squeezes the trigger. However, Avery and Elijah had got there first and unloaded the gun. They now have him on attempted murder of a federal agent as well as the other charges.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique:
    • In "URL, Interrupted", Elijah slams a teenager against a wall.
    • In "Family Secrets", he gives similar treatment to a man who turns out to be Avery's ex-husband.
  • Joggers Find Death: "Fit-and-Run" opens with a young female jogger running through the park at night. She becomes the Victim of the Week when she is run down by a car. It is later revealed that the killer was using her fitness app to track her.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • In "CMND:\Crash", Simon deals with his boss Colin Vickner, who's trying to keep the identity of a suspect secret. When he fails to get results, Simon just goes over Colin's head.
    • Simon has to deal with Colin again in "L0M1S", where he demands to be kept in the loop on the team's activities.
  • Karma Houdini: The titular villain in "L0M1S" avoids being charged because she's a 16-year-old girl.
  • Killing in Self-Defense: In "Why-Fi", Francine Krumitz tells her brother Daniel that this is why she killed the robber who murdered their parents. She's lying.
  • Lack of Empathy: Common among the villains, but "Click Your Poison" provides a civilian example. Marcus Billings, an old friend of Simon's who runs a medical site, does as little as possible when his site's ads are hijacked by Con Artists because he's afraid of bad publicity. Simon and the widow of a man who died because of the false ads eventually force him to take action.
  • Last-Name Basis: Nobody calls Krumitz "Daniel".
  • Layman's Terms: Used often to explain the computer issue of the day. Has about 50% chance to be a "dumbed down, overly simplified but overall accurate description" and 50% being pure made up Techno Babble.
  • Leet Speak:
    • The villain of "Fire Code" calls himself "JU5TU5" (pronounced "justice"), and Brody called himself "QUE5+" (prnounced "quest") when he was a cracker. The characters are careful to explain what leet speak is in their conversations, despite the fact that they're professionals who should already know.
    • The titular villain in "L0M1S" also has a leet-based handle.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: At the end of "The Walking Dead," Daniel realizes that every name that Stella used in her story of being a low-level hacker was taken from details around the office. He openly calls out "she Keyser Soze-d us!"
  • Living Lie Detector: Avery.
  • Mad Bomber: The villain of "Crowd Sourced"; he uses social media to set off his bombs.
  • Magic Countdown: The bomb in "Crowd Sourced" is set to go off when a website showing the killer's previous bombing reached a million hits. When the villain realizes the heroes are on to him, he resets the number to 750,000 hits.
  • Magical Computer: One of the series' central tropes. Both the heroes and the villains use them regularly.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: The main cast will travel hundreds of miles to attend to details of the investigation that could easily be handled by agents from a local field office or local law enforcement.
    • The second episode in particular has Raven and Nelson both gathering blood and analysing it for DNA. Note that both of them are former hackers recruited by the FBI. One is still on probation, and neither has any kind of biochemistry formation or such.
  • Medication Tampering: In "Click Your Poison", the team goes after a fake pharmacy website that sells fake prescription medication for heart disease, at a low price, to those who can’t get it from either their doctors, or whose insurance doesn’t cover that type of medication. The downside to these cheap pills is that they don’t do what they’re supposed to do: make the patient better.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: "Going Viral" opens with a man making a cup of tea while he listens to the chaos being caused by the hacked 911 calls. He then puts the cup down in front of the man he has just garrotted, who is still sat at the breakfast table.
  • Murder by Remote Control Vehicle: In "Gone in Six Seconds", a hacker called 'Smokescreen' drag races a driverless vehicle remotely, forcing it into another car and killing the driver. Brody later ends up in the car as it is being controlled by the hacker.
  • Murder.com:
    • They did this in "Crowd Sourced" with a bomb that was linked to the number of views of a website; if it hit one million, the bomb would go off. When the FBI discovered the place where it was setup, it turned out to be a trap that lowered the number to 750,000. (See Magic Countdown above.)
    • In "Python's Revenge", Python kidnaps Avery's surrogate daughter, Grace, and sets up a website where the Cyber team can see her being held. He makes the team decipher a series of elaborate code-like puzzles in an attempt to save her life. Every time they get an answer wrong, a dose of a drug is injected into her. When three doses have been injected, the combined effect will kill her.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Avery used to be a psychologist in New York City, but her patient database was hacked, which destroyed her practice and resulted in the murder of Danielle McCarthy, one of her clients. As the series begins, the case is unsolved, and Avery is still looking for the criminal(s). The finale of the first season revealed that the hacker was a former patient of hers whom she stopped treating because she felt that she couldn't go any further with him and needed treatment from someone else. He had become personally obsessed with her and took up hacking just to spy on her. He also killed McCarthy, a murder that Avery believed to be the work of the victim's husband, to the point that she even testified against him in court.
    • A secondary example in Avery's case is Tobin, a hacker who backslid and whom she was forced to arrest and have sent to prison.
  • Naïve Newcomer: How Brody is introduced.
  • Nerd Glasses: Krumitz wears them.
  • New Media Are Evil: The Series. The show's premise is that crooks and crazies are constantly using the net to endanger innocent people.
    • The cyberbullying episode is pretty much how social medias are bad, and even ends with the almost-victim talking about how she's going to leave social media behind.
    • An episode has the team remark on how online gaming is a fertile ground for pedophiles to find victims. Elijah, himself a gamer, mentions how he intends to prevent his daughter from playing games online when she grows up. Rather, than, ya know, educate her on the dangers and teach her not to divulge personal info or trust people she meets online. Other character even point out the existence of Nanny security software to curtail her internet access, but Elijah stands firm that the risks are just too high.
    • The series begins averting this trope in season 2; when DB transfers over from Las Vegas, he is always shown giddy over testing some new gadget or tool that helps the team.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: As a result of Brody's lawsuit against the FBI, Director Silver terminates the Hackers for Hire program. That works out fine for Brody who gets released with time served. Not so for Raven, who has no loophole in her case like Brody did and could be put in jail.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    • Played for Drama in "CMND:\Crash". A subculture of dark net dwellers who get off on gory accident videos start a secret forum. One of them tries to impress the others by hacking into a roller coaster's security system to cause a fatal crash, then takes control of a Boston subway train at rush hour in an attempt at an even bigger catastrophe.
    • And then there's the cyber-arsonist in "Fire Code" who starts a fire in somebody's condo, then watches the whole thing through a webcam.
  • Not My Driver: The killer's M.O. in "Killer En Route". The killer hacks the Bland-Name Product version of Uber to intercept bookings, and then turns up claiming to be the ride that was ordered.
  • Odd Couple: Krumitz acts like he can't stand Brody and wants him off the team, but the other characters are smart enough to predict that their relationship will eventually become a Bromance.
  • Old Flame: "Fire Code" reveals that Elijah is still attracted to his ex-wife Devon and wants to renew their relationship. The final scene shows that the feeling is mutual. "Ghost in the Machine" shows their relationship developing.
  • Once per Episode: Exactly one suspect or witness will make a run for it, exactly one time, and it will always be Elijah who runs them down.
  • Organ Theft: In "Fit-and-Run", the motivation for a series of kidnappings and murder turns out to be a father and a husband desperate to find a replacement kidney for a dying woman.
  • Or So Ive Heard: In "5 Deadly Sins", Brody mentions that one of the victims had been posting 'sex selfies' and explains these are photos taken during or immediately after sex. When Raven gives him a significant look, he awkwardly adds that he has read about them.
  • Out of Focus: Raven doesn't appear much in some episodes from the second half of the first season. However, she has prominent roles in the two season finale episodes.
  • Le Parkour: In "Ghost in the Machine", a teen is convinced he can do this because his video game character does it all the time. He's wrong.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Played With in "Kidnapping 2.0", where the team has to guess a long alphanumeric password. However, Avery points out that most people can't remember a random string of numbers and/or letters longer than several digits/characters due to the way the human mind works. And the guys they just busted don't appear to be geniuses capable of such a feat. Thus, she figures they must have written down the password somewhere. It turns out to be the dates tattooed on the criminals' bodies, arranged from earliest to latest.
  • Poetic Serial Killer: The killer in "5 Deadly Sins" who targets people they know to be guilty of committing one of the '5 deadly sins' of social media. Also a Theme Serial Killer as they use a choose a method and a location appropriate to the 'sin' each of the victims is guilty of.
  • Placebo Effect: In "Click Your Poison", the villain hijacks the ads on a medical site to sell people medications that make users feel better but don't actually help them, with deadly results.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: In "Red Crone", Avery refers to to Brody and Raven by a portmanteau name. DB gets the concept and knows who 'Brangelina' are, but is completely baffled by a reference to 'Kimye'. DB's pop culture tastes are firmly rooted in the 60s and 70s.
  • Pop-Up Texting: Not surprisingly, considering the subject matter, many displays are shown floating in the air next to the devices, though they also use close-ups of the screens.
  • Power Walk: There's a brief shot of the heroes doing one in the first season Title Sequence.
  • The Promise: In "Why-Fi", Francine browbeats Daniel into promising that he'll forget about her and be happy while she's in prison for murdering the man who killed their parents.
  • Race Against Time: The plot of "URL, Interrupted". The team has to find Zoey Tan before she kills either herself or her cyberbully.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: As with the other CSI series, it's by The Who; in this case, it's their 1967 hit "I Can See for Miles".
  • Redemption Rejection: 'Fire Code'. Brody is furious when he figures out who Ju5tu5 is (it's his best friend from his hacking days), but offers to vouch for him to the FBI to give him a lighter sentence. He gets hit with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech instead. Brody then punches him and plants a Tracking Device on him in the scuffle.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: The first Victim of the Week in "Ghost in the Machine" is killed when he is startled into dropping a customised .22 concealed inside a drill case. The gun goes off when it hits the ground, discharging and killing him.
  • Revenge:
    • "URL, Interrupted" is about a girl who's been cyberbullied searching for revenge.
    • The villain of "Ghost in the Machine" is targeting the witnesses whose testimony sent his father to prison.
    • In "Why-Fi", this turns out to be the motive for Francine Krumitz killing her parents' murderer.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • "Fire Code" is clearly based on the HP hacker 2011 case.
    • The villain of "Selfie 2.0" may be based on Ariel Castro, who kept three women prisoner in his home for two years.
    • Elijah mentions several controversies that have plagued Zogo, the Bland-Name Product version of Uber, to the Zogo CEO. Most of them are controversies that Uber itself has faced. Such as that Zogo claims to perform background checks on their drivers, but doesn't.
    • The episode "URL, Interrupted" has definite shades of the Megan Meier case - particularly with both the catfish online relationship and the reveal that it was an adult who was the ringleader in the cyberbullying.
    • The Mad Bomber from "Crowd Sourced" seems to be a riff on the Unabomber, who also protested society's over-reliance on technology with a terrorist campaign.
    • A community gets thrown into an uproar over a body cam video that purportedly shows a suspect being shot in cold blood by a police officer in "Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes". The police chief even explicitly refers to Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Freddie Grey in Baltimore, MD.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The villain's motivation in "Killer En Route". His son was killed in a hit-and-run accident by a driver for Zogo, a Bland-Name Product version of Uber, who then fled the country. He becomes a Serial Killer who targets Zogo's clients (and eventually, one of its drivers), although he admits they're innocent; as he explains to Avery when he's captured, "someone had to pay", and he wants to destroy Zogo so badly that he's not particular who gets hurt.
  • Runaway Train: In "CMND:\Crash", the bad guy hacks the computer on a subway train and disengages all of the safeguards. The Cyber team has to work out how to board the runaway train and shut it down before it reaches the end of the line.
  • Science Is Bad: You'd think a show about computers featuring hackers and other computer nerds would avoid that, but no, the show has a definite trend of this, with one or more of the characters (often Sifter) openly lamenting the dangers of modern conveniences or technologies and the loss of privacy inherent to social media, online videogaming, even Uber as opposed to good ol' taxi cab. Such things are almost never presented in any positive lights, only the dangers/risks/uncertainties attached to them. See also New Media Are Evil.
  • Semper Fi: As noted, Elijah was once a Marine, a background that serves him well.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Brody's standard outfit is a vest, dress shirt and tie.
  • Sherlock Scan: Avery uses her background in psychology to study suspects for Character Tics (usually small facial or bodily movements shown in extreme close-up) that indicate if they're hiding something... or being completely honest.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Two Batman references so far:
      • At the end of "Killer En Route", after Krumitz learns that his parents' murderer has been paroled, Brody tells him to stay strong by saying, "be Batman". And no, that doesn't mean that Brody is Robin.
      • Avery in "Fire Code": "Some hackers just want to watch the world burn."
    • @midnight did a segment inspired by a YouTube Poop video that made fun of the show's Technobabble.
    • The second season is ramping up the pop culture references. The first episode alone mentions Hootie & the Blowfish, Star Trek and Star Wars.
    • "Gone in 6 Seconds" has several scenes that seem to have been ripped out of Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), and the title itself also calls back to the auto theft theme of that movie.
  • Shower of Love: Brody and Raven get it on in the shower at the end of "Why-Fi".
  • Smug Snake: Tobin from "Crowd Sourced" is a former member of the team who's now in prison—and forbidden to use computers—because he tried to sell government secrets. He's also a Jerkass who enjoys taunting everyone around him. When Avery needs his help, he takes advantage of the situation to be assigned to the prison library, where he plans to use a near field communication device to sneak back onto the net. However, Avery anticipates this and out gambits Tobin.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: Used to depict the spread of the Wifi virus infecting NYC bus hotspots in "Going Viral".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Nina the bartender towards Mundo.
  • Stalker Without a Crush:
    • The villain of "Family Secrets". Logan Reeves, a former patient of Avery's, has been cyber-spying on her for ten years before he's discovered. He also kidnaps her and takes to a replica of her office he's created in an abandoned factory.
    • In "Why-Fi", Francine Krumitz tells her brother Daniel that the man who killed both their parents has been stalking her. It's really the other way around—she's been stalking him.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Vanessa Gillerman from "Selfie 2.0" has a bad case of this after years of brainwashing and abuse from the "harem" leader. Not only is she viciously insane, she regards herself as her master's number one servant, a position she guards jealously...which motivates her to kill Elizabeth Marks, whom she perceives as a threat to her status.
  • Suicide by Cop: Python does this at the end of "Python's Revenge"; forcing Avery to shoot him.
  • Team Dad: Russell
  • Team Mom: Avery emerges as one of these.
    • In "Fire Code", she stands up for Brody's innocence when Elijah is ready to give up on him, then gently tells Brody that he shouldn't have gone off on his own.
    • In "L0M1S", she admonishes Krumitz for being so obsessed with catching the titular villain that he breaks the law himself by using the webcam on her computer to identify her.
  • Team Title: More or less.
  • Teen Genius: L0M1S turns out to be one.
  • Teens Are Monsters:
    • Played With in "URL, Interrupted". Once the "Zoey Tan, Kill Yourself" site goes up, several of her classmates (including Simon's son Aaron) start piling on. However, when Simon talks with Aaron about his role in the cyberbullying, it becomes clear that Aaron and his friends don't realize the full impact of what they're doing, and Peer Pressure Makes You Evil is also a factor.
    • Played with again in "Ghost in the Machine". The villain manipulates teens who play First Person Shooters to get them to do his dirty work.
    • L0M1S is a straight example. As Avery tells the character's father, "In my line of work 'just a kid' doesn't mean anything."
  • That's an Order!: During the climax of "Crowd Sourced", Elijah is driving an SUV while his passenger Krumitz tries to defuse a bomb. Elijah orders Krumitz to get out, but he refuses.
  • Theme Serial Killer: In "5 Deadly Sins", the killer uses the so-called '5 deadly sins' of social media (Hate Speech, Porn, Violence, Drugs, & Trolling) as their theme: killing victims guilty of these sins in a manner appropriate to the sin.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In "URL, Interrupted", Zoey Tan is being cyber-bullied because, apparently, her classmates think she's crazy, she knows how to use a gun, and they're afraid she'll "go Columbine" on them, because making an allegedly unstable person who knows how to shoot and is angry at her peers even angrier at everyone is a good idea. However, it turns out that the bully isn't very rational, either.
  • Torture Porn: The series approaches this for a few scenes in "Selfie 2.0". The villain is a madman who kidnaps girls he finds on dating sites and holds them prisoner in his Torture Cellar. He forces them to brand each other with numerical rankings; one such branding is shown in graphic detail.
  • Toyota Tripwire: "Fire Code" opens with Elijah chasing an informant. They run into an alley and Avery drives into the other end of the alley to block it off. The informant attempts to dodge round the SUV, only for Avery to open the door and flatten him.
  • Tragic Keepsake: In "CMND:\Crash", a man's girlfriend is killed by the roller coaster crash just as she was agreeing to marry him. He comes back later looking for the ring because he wants her to have it.
  • Travelling at the Speed of Plot: Characters travel from their HQ in Washington, D.C. to cities all around the country and back with seemingly no regard for time or means of travel.
    • In one episode in particular they travel from Quantico to Tampa in less time than it takes the perp they are going after to finish his internet browsing session in a public library.
  • Trojan Horse: The villain's malware is compared to the Trope Namer in "The Evil Twin".
  • United Nations: Briefly mentioned as one of the hacker's possible targets in "The Evil Twin".
  • The Watson: Despite running the Cyber division, Sifter basically exists to avert As You Know — so the experts have someone to explain things to using Layman's Terms.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The villain of "Crowd Sourced" believes that people are becoming addicted to technology and decides to break them of the habit—by using social media to trigger bombs hidden in public places.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Raven sort of disappears for two episodes in the first season, with no one mentioning on how strange it is she's not around or where she is.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In "The Evil Twin", Brody is revealed as an arachnophobe when a spider makes it way into the team's headquarters.
  • With Due Respect: Simon addresses his boss Colin this way in "L0M1S".
  • Woman Scorned: The cyberbully who harasses Zoey Tan in "URL, Interrupted" turns out to be not one of her classmates, but her high school guidance counselor. The counselor's motive? Her real target was Zoey's father, whom she'd been dating until he broke it off because Zoey objected: "You have no idea what he did to me. He dumped me... like a piece of trash. All because of her. He chose her."
  • Writing Around Trademarks: For a show focused on tech crimes, an inability to use terms like "Facebook", "Google" etc. is really noticeable and leads to clunky dialogue that no one would ever actually say like "Hey, let's play that new first person shooter!". (Though that particular one may actually have been an attempt to avoid Time Marches On). See also the widespread Bland-Name Product.
  • You Killed My Father: In "Killer En Route", we learn that Krumitz's parents were murdered by a man who robbed their convenience store, and he's up for parole. Krumitz speaks against his release (and unsuccessfully tries to get his sister Francine, who says she just wants to get on with her life, to do the same), but he's paroled anyway. At the end of the season finale, Francine reveals that she killed him as a Cliffhanger.

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